President must fulfill duties

Published 11:46 am Friday, November 4, 2016

This week, the long denied Chicago Cubs won the World Series, thereby denying the long denied Cleveland Indians the series victory. It was a wonderful series and a great game seven. Not only were the talents of some of the best young players in baseball showcased, the talents of two excellent Managers were constantly on display in what was the ultimate chess game of moves and counter moves.

It is complicated to manage a professional baseball team and requires skills developed and honed over several years, most often over decades. With the recent advent of analytics in professional baseball, the sport has become more science than art, and all for the better.

If baseball management is complicated, then how complicated is leading the worlds’ largest economy and most powerful, nation?

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Americans are about to pick one person to do that job, a job where about 50 percent of the people are always less than happy with the direction of the country and the other 50 percent want progress to come faster. We call them Republicans and Democrats.

For starters, the American president has relations with 180 nations and their leaders through both the State Department and direct contacts. That part of the job requires familiarity with cultural and historical differences and factors, political alignments and threats, and language issues. Longstanding partnerships with other nations infuse our history with contacts and commitments that must be honored and expanded through trust and strength.

Then the U.S. president must lead the most powerful and complex military force ever to exist, in its structure and impact upon a world often at the edge of war. The American president must know and act to reserve our greatest treasure, our young men and women in the service of their nation, until it is absolutely necessary to commit them on behalf of American values.

Domestically, our president must navigate the complexities of our political system that is currently in a state of prolonged disrepair. In order to move the nation forward, the president must find paths where all parties advance their goals and the American people are the ultimate winners of progress and change.

The president must know and understand how legislation is created and passed, not by a textbook definition, but by an awareness of the levers of power in Congress and how to find partners in legislating where enemies are easier to see.

At a time when the senate has acted irresponsibility by failing to consider a candidate for the Supreme Court, the next president must find a path forward that protects the independence of the third branch of government, while adding a Justice that represents the American people, not the powerful special interests that surround Washington with lobbyists.

Then, our president must, on all too many occasions, be empathetic enough to speak to tragedy with a voice that comes from all of us, and to speak to attacks on our nation with a clarity that cannot be mistaken.

Finally, our president must stand above the pettiness that all too often drives Washington, and speak to our greatness with a reminder of the possible and a vision that rises above the political din.

Next week you must decide if Hillary Clinton may best be able to fill the job or Donald Trump better meets the needs and demands of the presidency.

But keep in mind, you should no sooner set aside these qualifications in favor of risking the nation to one not qualified than you would expect the Cubs to hire a high school coach to manage the team.

In both cases, the job is far too important and complex than to waste the skills, talents and ambitions of all of Americans with a leader who is less than able to rise to the demands of the U.S. presidency.



Jim Crawford if a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.